RCMP commissioner Brenda Lucki acknowledged Tuesday that an investigation into senior intelligence official Cameron Ortis raises concerns for both the domestic and foreign security communities.
During a press conference, Lucki told reporters that international security partners have not placed any data-sharing restrictions on Canada since the charges against Ortis were filed last week.
“I would definitely imagine that there is concern amongst our Five Eyes community as well as in Canada,” Lucki said.
Lucki said that while Ortis had access to classified information on foreign security matters, the alleged breach has not compromised relations among the Five Eyes countries — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States — which share an intelligence alliance.
Ortis is facing seven charges, including obtaining information to pass to a “foreign entity.”
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Ortis was director general of the National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre. During his 12 years as a civilian member of the RCMP, he worked in operations research and national security criminal investigations.
The commissioner noted that the allegations “if proven true, are extremely unsettling.”
She added that the RCMP have put measures into place to “mitigate” any potential damage to domestic or foreign security matters but did not elaborate on what they may be.
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Lucki emphasized that the RCMP’s risk assessment is “fluid” and is subject to change as the investigation continues. The RCMP did not say when the investigation may conclude.
While at a campaign stop in Newfoundland on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on the ongoing case.
“We are in direct communications with our allies on security, not only the Five Eyes group,” Trudeau said.
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“We are also working with them to reassure them but we want to ensure that everyone understands that we are taking this situation very seriously.”